As the world continues to grapple with intensifying climate change the situation often feels hopeless. Our environment hangs in the balance and questions swirl. We know we must reverse the effects of climate change, but how? Are we too late? Is there any hope at all? In The Rescue Effect, scientist Michael Mehta Webster proves that the hope is found in nature itself, as he outlines the regenerative systems that help life on earth survive in the face of stressors like climate change. The natural world has a series of systems—rescue effects—that automatically activate to help organisms when their environment changes. The Rescue Effect illustrates how we can use nature’s natural resiliency to help reverse climate change.
Through a cleareyed, data-driven approach, Webster details what scientists are finding as they dig deeper into how nature rescues species on its own. These rescue effects are revealed in compelling stories of how species—like tigers in the jungles of India, cichlid fish in the great rift lakes of Africa, and mountain pygmy-possums in the snowy mountaintops of southeastern Australia—are keeping up with a changing world with the help of dedicated researchers and everyday people alike.
At the center of each story, people play a significant role. Rescuing our environment is not passive. Webster shows us that nature doesn’t save itself without our collective effort. It takes people working in concert with nature to reverse climate change. And we have an increasingly powerful toolkit—including genetic engineering, cryopreservation, and cloning—to give nature a boost. Beyond breakthroughs in science, we learn about simple changes in our everyday behaviors that can help nature’s rescue effects take hold.
Combining rigorous research and gripping storytelling, Webster provides the cautious optimism we need to confront the greatest challenge. A sober but reassuring rejoinder, The Rescue Effect show us signs of life and reasons to hope amid environmental crisis. If we work together to support nature’s own tendency towards life, we can avert catastrophe.